Monday, December 23, 2013

OB's Christmas List: Heavy Metal Songs I wish Bruce Would Cover

So with Christmas only being two days away I came up with my Christmas list of songs that I would love to see Bruce cover.  Keep in mind I grew up listening to heavy metal, and some of my friends are shocked when they know of all the other bands I love (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath etc) that Bruce trumps all of them.  However I did put some forethought and didn't just randomly want to hear Bruce sing "Master Of Puppets", "Run To The Hills" and "Iron Man" as they wouldn't fit with the E Street sound.  So below are songs that I really do think could work for Bruce, but even still I'm well aware there is practically no chance of Bruce ever playing them.  I say practically, because as we all know anything is possible with Bruce.  And without further ado...

5.  Iron Maiden - "Afraid To Shoot Strangers"

Just because I said "Run To The Hills" didn't make it, doesn't mean Iron Maiden isn't on the list entirely.  One of my all-time favorite metal bands, and one of my favorite live acts to see, Iron Maiden has been putting out stellar albums since 1978.  Their lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, has one of the most powerful voices in all of music and probably would give Springsteen a hard time with most other Maiden songs.  But in this song Dickinson's voice is consistently low, almost whisper like, to portray the gravity of the emotion behind this song.  Before "Devils and Dust" questioned the The Second Gulf War with Iraq, Iron Maiden penned this song questioning The First Gulf War.  Like "Devils and Dust", the song is written from a soldier's point of view, who is following orders.  And although he knows there is honor in following orders, his conscience troubles him, as he is "Afraid To Shoot Strangers".

4.  Black Label Society - "Road Back Home"

Fellow New Jersey native, Zakk Wylde's band Black Label Society is known for their brutally hard guitar riffs and Zakk's signature gravelly blues voice.  However on this album, Book of Shadows, their trademark sound is changed for a much more melodic sound with acoustic guitars and pianos.  Of all the songs on this list, this is the one that I think has the most E Street sound - from the opening organ intro, to the pre-chorus and chorus that I could easily see Bruce and Stevie getting into.

3.  Guns N' Roses - "I Used To Love Her"

If Bruce Springsteen didn't exist, Guns N' Roses would be my favorite band.  But he does, so they ain't. Still, I absolutely love them. They were the first band that absolutely captured my attention and imagination.  From their bad boy antics to their legendary live shows, GNR was rock and roll rebellion personified, and I loved them for it.  Although Bruce and Axl Rose have played together before, I still can't imagine Bruce ever singing GNR.  Even though I can easily see Stevie and Nils jamming on this guitar riff like Slash and Izzy, and I can even see Bruce doing his playful laughing while singing the lyrics "I knew I'd miss her, so I had to keep her.  She's buried right in my backyard."  Still, a man can dream.

2. KISS - "Hard Luck Woman"

Much like Springsteen fanatics, KISS fans are as hardcore as they come.  The costumes, the facepaint, but most importantly the music has endeared KISS to their fans for decades now.  For a long time I didn't count myself as one of them, simply because Gene Simmons is probably the biggest jerk in rock and roll.  Stories of his ego and attitude has caused nearly as many headlines as their hit songs have.  However, much like I have with Axl Rose, I simply separate the music from the person.  Just because I don't agree with them personally, doesn't mean I can't like their music.  I even feel that way about Bruce sometimes!  And ever since I've been able to do that, I have become as big a KISS fan as can be.  I love everything about them, their characters, the blood and fire, but above all else their songs.  Oh man, how awesome would it be if Bruce came out in full blow KISS make up and then went right into this opening guitar lick!?  Alright, I gotta calm down.

1.  Motorhead- "I Ain't No Nice Guy" (Featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Slash)

Cigarettes, whiskey, and a lifetime of playing hard music at a blistering fast pace: that's what gave Motorhead their signature sound that has made them icons that they are in heavy metal.  When one first hears that Motorhead is playing with Ozzy and Slash, you can't help but think it's got to be a heavy metal classic.  And it definitely is, but not in the way you might think.  This mostly-acoustic, ballad-like song features an aging Lemmy and Ozzy (and this was over 20 years ago!) contemplating about the mistakes they've made in their life.   I would absolutely love to see Bruce take the stage with this song, solo with only an acoustic guitar, but again, like every song on this list, it is just not going to happen.

So, there you have it.  What do you guys say?  Any metal fans agree or have different picks?  Are their any weird genres of music that you would to see Bruce cover?  Let us know!  Merry Christmas!

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